Paragliding, Torrey Pines Gliderport

By March 1, 2010January 12th, 2016La Jolla

A photo of a paraglider at sunset, viewed over the Pacific ocean from the Torrey Pines Gliderport in La Jolla, California. I shot this yesterday at sunset, wearing shorts, flip flops (my lucky pair!), and a t-shirt. Sorry Rest-Of-The-Country, you can have your Big Apple and Windy City and Rockies and Florida Keys and blizzards and all that — San Diego is the place to live. OK, perhaps our earthquakes are a problem. But scenes like this are why we choose to live here:

Paraglider soaring at Torrey Pines Gliderport, sunset, flying over the Pacific Ocean, La Jolla, California

Paraglider soaring at Torrey Pines Gliderport, sunset, flying over the Pacific Ocean.
Image ID: 24286
Location: La Jolla, California, USA

When I was a freshman at UCSD, during my first week, I had a Literature section in the highest room in Tioga Hall. It had a million-dollar view out over the Pacific. I was not paying attention to the TA since he was, well, a guy and Lit was not why I was at UCSD. (I was there for the beach and the girls.) To my surprise a hang-glider cruised by at eye level, then another, and another, some ways off but still close enough to catch my attention. What an introduction to La Jolla! The Torrey Pines Gliderport, established in 1930, is a true La Jolla institution. Set on the edge of the bluffs above Black’s Beach (yup, the nudie beach), Torrey Pines Gliderport is the literal jumping-off spot for hang gliders and paragliders who ride the updrafts created by onshore winds meeting tall seacliffs. The flyers can easily hang aloft for hours, soaring back and forth. Just a few hundred yards from the gliderport is the Indian Trail which drops from the bluffs alongside the Torrey Pines Gliderport down to Black’s Beach and is one of my favorite runs, taking one from La Jolla to Del Mar below the spectacular Torrey Pines State Park seacliffs. The gliderport and surrounding cliffs are one of San Diego’s best spots to catch the sunset. I am still scheming how to take up paragliding as a business expense, shooting aerials and having fun. Perhaps this year is the year to do it…

In case you are still unclear on why California is the only place to live, here are some more reasons: California Stock Photos, Black’s Beach Photos

About Phil Colla

I am a natural history photographer. I enjoy making compelling images in the ocean, on land, and in the air. I have maintained the Natural History Photography blog since 2005 and my searchable Natural History Photography Library since 1997. Here are some tear sheets and behind the scenes views. Thanks for looking!